Should Celebrities and Public Figures "Out" Themselves Just Because They Choose Donor Egg?
Posted Jun 04 2009 11:33pm
I have been involved in a very animated and ongoing discussion about celebrities and public figures that may or may not used a donor egg to create or grow their families. The conversation has revolved around the topic of disclosure and should they step forward and speak up about their reproductive choices (i.e. – if they used donor egg or their own egg) because they are celebrities or public figures.
My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that they should not have to step forward and “out” themselves anymore than any other woman who chooses this route to create or grow their family. I can’t tell you how many women have come across my path who absolutely are not disclosing to their families, friends, or even the children born from donor egg for a myriad of reasons. Some of those reasons are religious, cultural, personal, familial, or out of fear. But whatever the reasons they need to be respected.
I am not sure why our society feels that because an individual should choose a job such as an entertainer, a public servant, or any other position that puts him or her in the public light that we feel entitled to know everything there is to know about his or her medical history, or medical choices or really anything about them for that matter.
The argument I hear all.the.time – which is maddening -- “They (celebrities or public figures) could be a great public service announcement for all of us who have waited too long to start a family. Think of the millions of women each year they could reach if they would ONLY fess up to using an egg donor to have a child.”
Okay – now hang on a second. Exactly whose responsibility is it to advocate and care for your health? Reproductively or otherwise? Is it the movie star’s or the singers? How about the Congress woman’s? No, it’s YOURs – it’s your job to ask those questions about your fertility, and when your fertility declines. It’s not up to a celebrity or a public figure to educate the masses. Unless they choose to.
Without sounding too much like Margo Thomas and her I’m Okay You’re Okay stuff – I do want to say that celebrities and public figures are people to. They have a right to their privacy just like you and me – and if we were “outed” against our will, or felt pressed to out ourselves, you can imagine how loud the protests would be about not respecting other people’s privacy.